Firelight by Kristen Callihan
ORDER A COPY: Firelight (Darkest London)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publishing Date: January 31, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.
They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
Lord Benjamin Archer made a fateful decision one night long ago, one that left him cursed and horribly disfigured. Hiding his face behind a mask, he has come back to London to claim the only thing he desires above all, the hand of the beautiful and spirited, Miranda Ellis.
Miranda Ellis might not be hiding behind a mask, but she too hides a secret as dangerous and deadly as Lord Archer’s. It is Miranda’s special gift that caused her family to lose their fortune; leading her father to use her to steal to support the family. Miranda decides to accept Lord Archer’s proposal of marriage. Maybe, just maybe, this man would understand her pain, and not turn away from her if he learned the truth.
When bodies start to turn up around London, all eyes are turning to Lord Archer as the murderer. Can Archer and Miranda learn to love beyond the masks and secrets; and can they find the true perpetrator, or will they are forever be torn apart by the murder?
This novel needs a category all it’s own; part-historical, part-paranormal and all wonderful romance. When I requested a copy of this novel from netgalley.com, it sounded interesting, but I was not really sure what I would be getting. Let me tell you, as a romance, this book was sexy, sweet and funny. As a paranormal mystery, it kept me guessing until the final reveal.
This story kept me enthralled until the very end, and I am refusing to tell you anymore since the very mystery of what happened to Lord Archer is the driving force of this story. Added to that mystery is the wonderfully written beauty-and-the- beast/phantom-of-the-opera type romance between Miranda and Archer. Who could not fall for the vulnerable, tortured Archer, or the bright and strong Miranda?
If paranormal romance is your thing, then I can’t recommend to you enough that you should try this story.
I am definitely picking up the prequel: Ember, as well as the sequel Moonglow in August.
Received an ARC from Netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Check out my interview with Kristen Callihan for more information about this series.
Go to the Kristen Callihan’s website for bonus scenes.
He glanced at the stairwell as though he’d like nothing more than to flee. “Perhaps we should go. It is getting late.”
He moved to put on the mask once more, and her hand flew to clutch his arm.
“Don’t,” she said gently. The muscles beneath her hand hardened like granite yet he did not pull away. He loomed over her, his newly revealed features inscrutable, all the more because she did not yet know the subtleties of them. Without the warm rumble of his voice, she seemed almost a stranger to her for a moment, but for the scent of him and the familiar lines of his form.
“You startled me, Archer. That is all. I had no right to rail at you.” Absently, her thumb caressed the fabric of his coat. She forced it still. “Thank you. It is a gift you gave me, and I am the richer for it.”
Flushing and unable to meet his eyes another moment, she let him go. His silence was almost unbearable, but she could not turn from him. She had promised to stay. She gripped the cool balustrade and hoped it might keep her in place.
On a sigh, his stiffness released, and his hand came down to rest next to hers. “I felt you,” he whispered. “That is how I knew.”
She raised her head, and the world seemed to fade down to a narrow focus of just him, just her.
“I feel you,” he said, “whether stalking me through the streets of London, or hiding behind a screen in my library.” His words were soft as bunting, buffeting her skin, shivering inside of her.
Her hand opened on the balustrade, fingers stretching toward his. The very tips of their fingers met, the touch sparking between them like a current.
Archer’s fingers grazed hers. “I feel you. As if you were connected to me by an invisible string.” He touched his chest. “I feel you here. In my heart.”
She couldn’t think past the mad pounding of her blood. She swallowed painfully. “I feel you too.”